As stories go mine is rather short and simple. Just two weeks ago I went in to see a new doctor in a new town because of sinuses and a sore throat. I used the Doctor lookup provided by my insurance and picked one mostly at random as my only basis for the choice was I thought I knew where Dr. Chris Becker’ office address was located. I knew I had issues when I got to the office and found out my appointment was with Dr. Christina Becker. Opps, I guess if I really had a preference I should have marked male. I could always change if I felt uncomfortable, no biggie.
Insurance required a yearly physical which the doctor performed and I was happy with the visit. The next day I received a call from Dr. Becker’s nurse, my Glucose level was 328 from the urine sample I had given. Now, I have known several diabetics over the years and I knew that was bad, I didn’t know how bad. I returned to the Doctor’s office that afternoon and picked up a script for some medicine that I would need to take until my next visit. While I was out getting it filled I looked at the Blood Glucose meters at the pharmacy to get an idea of what my future held. Only one thing really stuck out at me, everyone showed a reading of 104 on the sample display. I asked the pharmacist what was normal, “around 100” was the response. Now, far be it from me to be subtle. I asked, “so I guess 320 would be bad?” Never has one word been so devastating, “yes” was all she said in a very flat tone.
Well, although I have medicine. I’ll need a meter anyway and the pharmacy had one that came with 10 test strips for less than $20 so I bought it too. As soon as I got home I just had to try it out, 314, “well that sucks” was the best thought I could make at that point. I decided I needed more info, lots more info. Since I work on computers for a living I went to my trusty computer and started to google anything and everything I could.
After several hours I was no closer to figuring out the future than I was when I started. My lack of success in finding a single source that told me everything I wanted to know right then made me think back to the other diabetics I had known over the years.
I remember Kevin who I worked with at a Hospital. Now Kevin was not a good diabetic and it was good that he worked at a hospital with people that cared about him, apparently more than he did. In the few years I worked there he was taken to the emergency room at least once a month for not paying attention to his blood sugar. One day I was offsite during the summer and many people were out on vacation. It was a bad thing because no one was there to take him to the ER and he died at his desk. Back then I was really surprised that something like that could happen from Diabetes, but I always thought it was a stupid way to die.
I then remembered Doc. I used to work for Doc and his wife Jackie. He was the best Veterinarian with the worst bedside manner. The people that brought their pets to him knew he would be nicer to the dog or cat than to them. I had long since moved on from that job to college when I found out that Doc was diabetic. I found out when he lost the toes on his left foot and I had stopped by to get some help with a gun. You see, Doc was also the best Gunsmith around and the only person to ever work on any of my firearms. Problem was when I came by to visit and get some help he couldn’t. Not only had he lost his toes, but his eyesight wasn’t good enough to see the fine detail needed to work on the smaller parts of guns anymore. Later Doc lost his foot and then his leg below the knee, and then his other foot. I know that even with all I learned from him over the years the most valuable lesson he ever taught me was no matter what I don’t want to die piece by piece like he did.
Now I am just two weeks into knowing I’m a diabetic, and I haven’t made it far into learning what I will have to change to live with this condition. I don’t know what challenges I will look at over the next year, but I will make them with out hesitation. Now I will complain and I might slip, but you see I have four boys that need me to be here and be healthy. Since that youngest boy is only four weeks old, I’ll need to be here a long time to take care of him and be a good example for all of them.
My wife, well, that is an entirely different issue. I have to be healthy for her. I have to be able to take care off all of those things that husbands do to keep a house in working order and a wife happy. I learned a long time ago, if your wife is happy and content then the children will be well taken care of by her. She not only needs me to be here for her, but she does enjoy being around me as much as I enjoy being there with her which is not something I can do if I do not take care of myself and my diabetes.
After looking back at what I have written I realize I have more of a story then I thought. Thank you for listening.